Country girl Yu Hong leaves her village, her family and her lover to study in Beijing. At university, she discovers an intense world of sexual freedom and forbidden pleasure. Enraptured, ... See full summary »
Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »
Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »
For no apparent reason, a mute young woman assaults a youth who delivers water on his bicycle, injuring him and ruining his bike. Surprisingly, she asks him to feed her fish while she is in... See full summary »
Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic ... See full summary »
On Dry Well Lane in Beijing in 1953, Chen Shujuan and Lin Shaolong marry. A year later their son, nicknamed Tietou (Iron Head), is born. The Party is everywhere: Mao's photograph, ... See full summary »
Fugui and Jiazhen endure tumultuous events in China as their personal fortunes move from wealthy landownership to peasantry. Addicted to gambling, Fugui loses everything. In the years that ... See full summary »
In the 1980s, encouraged by the government, a large number of families leave Chinese cities to settle in the poorer regions of the country, in order to develop local industry. The film's ... See full summary »
Country girl Yu Hong leaves her village, her family and her lover to study in Beijing. At university, she discovers an intense world of sexual freedom and forbidden pleasure. Enraptured, compulsive, she falls madly in love with fellow student Zhou Wei. Driven by obsessive passions they can neither understand nor control, their relationship becomes one of dangerous games - betrayals, recriminations, provocations - as all around them, their fellow students begin to demonstrate, demanding democracy and freedom. Protests collapse, and Yu and Zhou lose each other amidst the social chaos and panicked crowds. Zhou Wei is sent to a summer military camp, and on his release moves to Berlin, fleeing both his country and memories of Yu. She finds a job, a lover, but can not forget Zhou. In Germany, social unrest is mounting: calls for freedom, demonstrations for democracy. A familiar story for Zhou. Weary, still haunted by Yu, he returns to China as the Berlin Wall crashes down. He finds her at ... Written by
In September of 2006, director Lou Ye was barred from making movies for five years because the film incorporated footage of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and wasn't screened for Chinese officials. The Chinese government also demanded that all copies of the film be confiscated. See more »
The fashionable clothing worn by characters Yu Hong and Zhou Wei throughout their scenes as university students simply did not exist in China at this time nor for at least another decade. Mainland Chinese students circa the 1980s would have worn nondescript, non-branded attire rather than the high-heels, hipster track suits, designer dresses and sexy lingerie worn by the actors and actresses in Summer Palace. See more »
Having watched the movie myself and reading some of the comments/reviews with regards to the movie prompted me to post something in fairness to the movie.
I feel that the movie was meant to let audience have a feeling that the leads in the movies are lost. If we were to think of the backdrop of the movie, set in the late 80's, Tiananmen incident, the chant for democracy, all this would have let you understand that the China then was not a China that many could understand.
The China up till the 80s was probably such a controlled and suppressed place to live in, and when these suppressed feelings and emotions were suddenly set free, it was like an explosion. The literature and external factors began influencing the way the people viewed and did things. This could explain the "mindless" love making scenes as the desires to love and to have sex were probably something that was not openly displayed or demonstrated. Freedom is what everyone wants, but the maturity to handle the consequence of the actions brought about by freedom might not be something that everyone can handle.
The movie also explores on people who dare not love. All because they fear losing it. I personally felt the characterization was done quite well, and was aptly shown by the character Yu Hong. Love is not something that can be explained logically or defined in any one way. The insight to the characters views and actions in this movie shows that clearly.
Summer Palace is a movie worth watching, but it might not be a movie that is for everyone. Keep an open mind and try and understand the time and country this movie is set in, you'd probably appreciate the movie much better that way.
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